Help! how to acclimate your bunny with a new dog puppy?

Rabbits Online Forum

Help Support Rabbits Online Forum:

Sachastaheyeff

New Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2021
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Location
Zurich
My parents are getting a new puppy (dog breed: barbet). My bunny lives with me but I sometimes need to leave my rabbit with my parents when I am away. I will be introducing them when the dog is a puppy but what is the best way to do this, how long does this take? What are the things to make sure to do or look out for? Any advice is welcome :)
 

Blue eyes

Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Mar 20, 2012
Messages
9,134
Reaction score
6,678
Location
Arizona, USA
There's a lot to consider when introducing a dog and rabbit. A puppy can sometimes be more problematic than an older dog. But I go over a number of these considerations on the following page of my website. That page also links to a second page that is a step by step explanation of how I've introduced dogs and rabbits.
 

k9resqer

Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2009
Messages
16
Reaction score
15
Location
East Central Indiana, Indiana, USA
Not entirely the same, but I brought Cadbury home to four dogs (ages 1, 3, 12, 14 years old). I did dog test him before bringing him home from the shelter and he loves dogs! My dogs also live with two cats so they're pretty used to smaller animals around. They're also mixed breeds with very little to no hunting breeds in them and very low prey drive. I've met a few Barbet at dog competitions and I believe they're bird dogs, correct? Not as challenging as, say, a beagle and a rabbit, but I would definitely be super aware of their interactions.

The first month Cadbury was with us, he lived in a large dog crate. The first couple of days the dogs were interested but within a week he just became part of their regular daily existence.

Once he started using his litterbox consistently, I added an exercise pen to the crate. He divides his time between the crate and the pen. The dogs totally ignored the fact that he is mostly out in the middle of the room with just the pen between them. And he was totally unconcerned with the dogs running past the pen. It got to the point where Cadbury would be lying on one side of the pen with a dog lying right next to him on the other side of the pen.

After about six months, I would let him have run of the whole house while the older two dogs were loose and the younger two were in crates. The older dogs pretty much ignored him and the younger two would just sit and watch him hop around. So one day I let him out of his pen when all of the dogs were loose. I didn't make a big production of it, just opened the pen and walked away. Dogs didn't even realize he was loose for probably half an hour. When he hopped up to them, they just kind of glanced at him and didn't think anything of his presence.

I now let him out in the evenings when I'm home to supervise, and after the dogs have had plenty of exercise so they're more apt to just snooze and ignore him. The older three dogs don't even acknowledge him. The one year old is the only wildcard. She still plays really rough and will chase Cadbury if he starts running around too much. When she gets too excited around him, I attach her leash to the leg of the couch. That way she gets about six feet of freedom but can't chase Cadbury. He can come up and visit with her but hop away if she gets too wound up.

All in all, it took a little over six months to get to this point. However, the dogs are with Cadbury all day every day, I don't know how it would work if your parent's dog only sees your rabbit on occasion.

Good luck!
 

Diane R

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2019
Messages
914
Reaction score
944
Location
London, UK
I would not introduce them at all and make sure bunny has their own room at your parents where dog cannot access or even get near as your bunny could get very stressed.
 

Blue eyes

Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Mar 20, 2012
Messages
9,134
Reaction score
6,678
Location
Arizona, USA
My parents are getting a new puppy (dog breed: barbet). My bunny lives with me but I sometimes need to leave my rabbit with my parents when I am away. I will be introducing them when the dog is a puppy but what is the best way to do this, how long does this take? What are the things to make sure to do or look out for? Any advice is welcome :)

Reading over your post again, I'm realizing that the dog will not be living in the bunny's home. You're speaking of your rabbit occasionally going to your parents home which is where the dog lives.

In this case, the intro methods don't really apply. The concept is based on the dog accepting the rabbit as a permanent member of the pack (family unit). That can't occur under those circumstances.

Since it would be occasional visits, the best course of action would be too simply keep them isolated. Either the rabbit or the dog should remain in a separate room during those visits.
 
Top